Cystic Acne from Prednisone and Immunosuppressants: My Updated Skin Care Routine.
Eventually after enough time on Kineret, my previous routine stopped working. Now that I’ve started Methotrexate in addition to the Kineret, it’s only going to be harder to fight the problem skin. But, I have found a routine that works, and am sharing it with you since so many of you asked for an update.
You can read about what I was using previously here.
- Cleanse with DermaE’s Very Clear cleanser. I love the tea tree oil in this. It does not foam and you don’t need a lot. A bottle lasted me nearly a year— seriously. I get mine for about $13 at Whole Foods. You can also find it occasionally in Bed Bath and Beyond/Face Values. There is some suggestion that tea tree oil and lavender can increase your sensitivity to the sun, meaning you need to wear a sunscreen (you should be doing so anyway) if you do not already. I have photosensitivity and it has not worsened as a result of this product.
Tip: you can order a sample from the DermaE website for $4. I think it comes with 10+ other samples of products.
- Moisturize with Origins Ginzing Moisturizer. This. stuff. is. amazing. I have oily to combination skin, which makes finding a lotion that does not make my acne worse yet still hydrates my skin difficult. It feels like a gel, is light weight, a little goes a long way, it wears perfectly under makeup, does not leave a sticky/oily residue. I have seen an actual improvement in my overall skin in the two weeks I’ve been using this, so much so that I’m willing to pay for it.
Which brings me to the drawbacks. One, the price. It’s $26.50. Get a sample before you buy it. Two, the container. It’s a jar. Which means you’re constantly sticking your fingers into the jar every time you use the product. It’s far less sanitary than having it in a squeeze-out bottle. I’ll probably buy myself a squeeze bottle for the product.
- Sunscreen. I currently use a deluxe-sized sample I got from Shiseido that, though I’m loving, refuse to buy. Why? Because it’s $30. If you are in the market for a $30 sunscreen that doesn’t break you out, I’d absolutely recommend this.
- Cleanse with DermaE Very Clear Cleanser twice, the first time to remove makeup.
- Exfoliate using Origins Modern Friction scrub. I use about 3-4 times a week, depending on how my skin is. It’s very, very gentle and perfect for sensitive skin.* Again, get samples! You can get a sample from the Origins store or from Sephora.
- Hydrate using Epicuren Acidophilus Probiotic Facial Cream. This is my holy grain product** and I won’t ever use anything else. Of course I can’t speak for everyone, but this stuff changed my skin completely. It balanced out my skin, drastically reduced the excessive oil production, improved my acne, it is honestly like I have new skin whenever I go out and buy/use this again. I stopped using it for a few months (it’s expensive), but whenever I pick it back up I curse myself for not buying it sooner.
Tip: do. not. buy. this. on. Amazon. Seriously, go read the reviews of people who have been scammed— the “Epicuren” seller seems to be a fake. Use the store/spa locator on the Epicuren website, give them a call, and ask about a sample. Or call Epicuren directly.
Tip: if you do buy this, store it in your fridge.
- Prescription medications. I take antibiotics (both topical and in pill-form) in cycles when necessary for any severe/painful cystic breakouts. I also use a hormonal birth control. My biggest piece of advice for anyone struggling with immunosuppressant/prednisone-related acne is to see a dermatologist.
*If you don’t have sensitive skin and are looking for a more intensive exfoliator, I liked Clinique’s Exfoliating Scrub. It does contain salicylic acid in it.
*I’d also highly recommend Epicuren’s acne wash— it’s fantastic. Again, not cheap (by my standards).
So that’s it. It’s pretty simple. I’ll add some photos later to show you the progress so you can see for yourself.
If you are struggling with this too, don’t give up— there is hope. Trial and error is frustrating, but improving your health in any aspect is a process. You’ll get there.
Love and spoons as always,